Dentures are removable, prosthetic dental devices designed to replace missing teeth. Dentures are a popular solution for patients who have lost some or all of their teeth due to decay, accident, disease, or age.

Each set of dentures is custom-made to comfortably fit the mouth of the patient for which it is intended. Typically, dentures are made of natural-looking porcelain, acrylic resin, or a combination of acrylic resin and metal and come in one of two forms, complete and partial.

Complete dentures are typically required when all teeth from the upper or lower jaw, or both, are missing. Complete dentures are designed to fit snugly over the gums and jawbone from which the patient has lost all their teeth. Partial dentures, meanwhile, are called for in cases in which a few teeth are missing. Partial dentures attach to remaining teeth via clasps or other attachments, filling the gap between natural teeth and restoring the function and appearance of the mouth.


Generally, the need for dentures arises due to one or more of the following situations:

  • Gum disease – Advanced gum disease can cause teeth to decay, which can cause them to become loose or fall out.
  • Trauma – Impact to the mouth resulting from an accident or sporting injury can cause tooth loss or severe damage; dentures offer the best option for restoring the form and function of the mouth.
  • Congenital disabilities – Some people are born with missing or underdeveloped teeth and require dentures to ensure normal mouth function.
  • Aging – Tooth loss can occur due to wear and tear, decay, or other oral health issues that arise with age; in these cases, dentures are a popular replacement option.


Getting dentures can vary depending on individual needs but typically consists of several steps and can take several weeks. Here’s what to expect during the process of getting dentures:

  • Consultation – a dentist examines and takes x-rays of the mouth, teeth, and gums and presents the patient with the appropriate denture options.
  • Impressions – after the initial consultation, the dentist takes detailed impressions of the patient’s mouth to create a model of the dentures.
  • Fitting – the patient is fitted with a temporary set of dentures while the permanent ones are being created; this allows for acclimation to the feeling of dentures and enables the dentist to confirm their fit.
  • Adjustments – some discomfort or soreness is common during the first weeks of wearing dentures; during this time, the dentist can make any necessary adjustments to ensure comfort.
  • Final fitting – once the permanent dentures are ready, the dentist fits them into the patient’s mouth and makes final adjustments.
  • Post-treatment care – after receiving permanent dentures, it’s important that a patient continue to maintain their oral health by cleaning their dentures, brushing their gums and tongue daily, and regularly visiting the dentist.


Proper care of dentures is essential for maintaining their longevity and ensuring good oral health. Here are some tips for proper care:

  • Remove dentures and rinse them with water after eating.
  • Clean daily with a denture brush and mild soap or denture cleaner.
  • Soak overnight in a denture-cleaning solution to help remove stains and bacteria.
  • Brush gums, tongue, and any remaining teeth with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups to ensure that the dentures are fitting correctly and to address any issues.


It’s important to note that specific side effects accompany the switch to dentures.

  • Soreness – early on, some patients experience soreness or discomfort in their gums; this is normal and generally subsides as the gums adjust to the dentures.
  • Difficulty speaking – a person may initially have difficulty speaking with dentures; this, too, typically subsides with time.
  • Changes in taste – in cases in which partial dentures cover the roof of the mouth, a temporary impact on the sense of taste has been observed.
  • Pressure sores – if dentures are not fitted properly, they can cause pressure sores on the gums.
  • Bad breath – bad breath can result if food particles get trapped between dentures and the gums. This can be prevented through regular cleaning of the dentures and good oral hygiene.

As you can see, these side effects are generally relatively mild and temporary. Of course, if discomfort is particularly persistent or severe, speaking to a dentist as soon as possible is essential.


If you’re in the Metairie and Mandeville areas and would like to learn more about whether dentures are right for you, rather than simply Googling “dentures near me” and taking your chances, contact dentist Dr. Margaret Patterson and the Oak Family Dental team to schedule a consultation appointment!

Related Services: Full & Partial Dentures